Category Manuscript
Origin: artist/workshop St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury
Date 12C/2
Reference No MS Bodley 530, f 15r (detail)
Provenance Benedictine Abbey of St Augustine, Canterbury
Present Location Oxford, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Bibliography SBOp 3:16; Paecht & Alexander 1966-73, 3:11, No 90; Leclercq 1955, 145

Leclercq 1958, 425-50; France 1998, 35-6
Illustration From France 1998, colour plate 9
Other illustrations

Country England
From before 1135 this is the earliest known representation of Bernard and, with the exception of his seal (see VA17), the only one from his lifetime. He is depicted in a manuscript of his first treatise, The Steps of Humility, a pastoral work in which Bernard is addressing his fellow monks on monastic virtues. He wrote it before 1124 at the request of one of the first monks of Clairvaux, Godfrey, who later became prior and bishop of Langres (1138-63). From the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey of St Augustine at Canterbury, it is evidence of the popularity and early dispersion of Bernard's writings even outside the Order. He is sitting at a desk writing within the initial R(ogasti), the opening of the Preface in which he states how he came to write it : 'You asked me, Brother Godfrey, to write out at greater length the sermons I gave to the brethren on the Steps of Humility'. Agaist a gold background, he is shown as a young tonsured monk writing. He is not carrying a crozier but there is nothing unusual in this as the crozier is often missing when he is engaged in an activity where this would not be appropriate as, for example, when saying Mass (see MA2).